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Wagner Announces 9 VFRA Workshops For Local Firefighters in April, May
HARRISBURG, Feb. 16, 2010 – Auditor General Jack Wagner today announced the spring schedule for free workshops offered to officers and members of volunteer fire departments across the commonwealth, providing operational guidelines for Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations.
The workshops are instructed by Department of the Auditor General employees. They give emergency service volunteers the opportunity to receive first-hand instruction on administrative procedures and to get answers about relief association-related matters.
"I am confident that this year’s workshops will provide VFRA members with the training, resources, and information they need to perform their duties as they generously volunteer their time to their communities,” Wagner said.
All VFRA workshop sessions begin at 7 p.m.:
Workshops held in the past were well-received by volunteer firefighters, who offered such comments as: “Each time I attend one of these sessions I pick up on one or two new ideas on how to do my position as treasurer. I use the ‘Commonly Asked Questions’ sections many times. Thank you.” Another noted about the presenters: “Personal, knowledgeable and well prepared. [I] learned a few new things that will help make the job easier.” And still another stated: “The program was put on with great skill and excellent information. The auditors were very helpful.”
The 2010 edition of the department’s Management Guidelines for Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations manual will be distributed at the workshops. This updated guide includes recent policy changes related to authorized expenditures for VFRAs and will be discussed in detail at the workshop. The new Management Guidelines will be available at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us in the spring.
The Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations program was established in 1895 through a 2-percent state levy on foreign fire insurance premiums. The Department of the Auditor General has the responsibility to audit volunteer firefighters’ relief associations to make sure that VFRA funds are properly spent.
In 2009, the Department of the Auditor General distributed more than $63.8 million to 1,957 local VFRAs in the state. The funds are primarily used to provide financial protection to volunteer emergency service personnel against any disability that might occur during participation in the fire service, as well as to purchase various types of fire equipment and to pay expenses to train volunteers.
Wagner’s strong support for fire departments and fire-related safety issues dates to his collegiate days at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he worked as an emergency medical technician with Citizens Ambulance Service.
“I understand first-hand and have a deep respect for what volunteers do for our citizens and communities across the commonwealth,” Wagner said.
For additional information on future training sessions, call the Bureau of Firefighters’ Relief Audits at (717)-787-1308; or e-mail to: email@example.com.
Auditor General Jack Wagner is responsible for ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly. He is the commonwealth’s elected independent fiscal watchdog, conducting financial audits, performance audits, and special investigations. The Department of the Auditor General conducts approximately 5,000 audits per year. To learn more about the Department of the Auditor General, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the department’s website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.
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